Trip Type : Private Guided
snow leopard

In search of Snow Leopards

Tribes
By Tribes
5.0 . Excellent
100%
Travel Style: A lot of free time, with very few inclusions. Ideal for independent and/or low-key travelers and cruisers. Relaxed
Physical Level: Full day hiking or trekking over medium to long distances. Moderate expectation of physical fitness. Strenuous
Lodging Level: Mid-range budget with accommodations ranging from comfortable lodges, guesthouses, and homestays to three star hotels. Value - 3 star
14 days
From: $ 4,870 $ 348 / day
Checking price

Overview

Highlights

  • Trek in the mountains in search of snow leopards
  • Guide and spotter to optimise sightings
  • Homestays in remote villages
  • Visit Hemis Gompa
  • Walk on a frozen river

Short Description

Visit the remote region of Ladakh north of the Himalayas as you trek in the mountains in search of the rare and beautiful snow leopard.  

Private tours give you the undivided attention of a guide, and often involve special access to sites and unique experiences not available to larger groups. This is a great option for families, couples, and small friend groups. Expect to pay a bit more for the extra service.
Trip Type Private Guided
Spend most of the time outdoors. Common trip themes and activities include cycling, hiking, kayaking, whitewater rafting.
Itinerary Focus Active
Mid-range budget with accommodations ranging from comfortable lodges, guesthouses, and homestays to three star hotels.
Lodging Level Value - 3 star
Flights & Transport Internal airfare and ground transport
Start City Delhi
End City Delhi

Destinations

India

Cities & Attractions

Delhi Himalayas

N/A
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Trip Includes

  • 13 nights accommodation on a twin-share basis including 7 nights in homestays in Ule
  • Rumbak and Urutse; meals listed as included
  • Porter charges from Zinchen to Rumbak, Urutse and Zinchen
  • Services of a naturalist guide, spotter and Reni Pani escort
  • Transfers, sightseeing and excursions as per the itinerary in an exclusive chauffeur-driven vehicle
  • Return flights Delhi to Leh
  • Monastery fees and taxes; wildlife permit fees of Rs2000 per person per day

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Itinerary

Day 1: Arrive Delhi

Your flight arrives into Delhi international airport where you are met by a local representative and transferred the short distance to your overnight hotel, Lemon Tree Premier. The remainder of the day is free, allowing you to rest after your journey. Hotel facilities include an outdoor swimming pool, spa, restaurant, bar and 24-hour coffee shop.

Day 2: Fly To Leh, Ladakh

It's an early start as you are transferred to the domestic airport for the morning flight to Leh in Ladakh. Flight time is around 85 minutes, and you should get some stunning views of the Himalayas. On landing you are met and transferred to Leh's best hotel, the Grand Dragon. Nothing has been arranged for the rest of the day so you are free to take it easy at the hotel as you acclimatise to the altitude, or to venture out to explore the market. Breakfast, dinner

Day 3: Hemis Monastery

After breakfast at the hotel you depart for a guided tour of nearby Hemis Gompa, the largest monastery in Ladakh. There are beautifully painted murals and thankas, stupas made of gold and silver and a statue of Lord Buddha, and the building is a good vantage point from which to survey the Himalayan peaks. In the afternoon there's an opportunity to go for a walk along the Indus River and do some bird watching before returning to the hotel in Leh. Breakfast, lunch, dinner

Day 4: Ule Frozen River Walk

Have an early breakfast before setting off for the drive to Ule. After about 2 hours you reach the confluence of the Indus and Zanskar rivers, where you can stretch your legs with a half hour walk on the frozen Zanskar River, followed by lunch. Keep your eyes peeled as the drive resumes: you're likely to spot urial and argali (wild sheep), Tibetan antelope and wolves. The region is home to snow leopards, though sightings are rare. On arrival in Ule you are taken to a homestay where you spend the next 2 nights. Breakfast, lunch, dinner

Day 5: Ule

You have a full day to explore Ule with your guide. The snow leopard, known locally as shan and also named 'the ghost of the Himalayas', is at home in this mountainous landscape. Insulated by a thick coat of fur and with wide feet that act as natural snowshoes, they are adapted to the climate, and their powerful legs enbale them to jump high into the air and across ravines. They are elusive, but your guide will help you look for signs such as tracks amd spoor, aided by spotters using high-powered scopes and binoculars. The presence of Himalayan blue sheep, the snow leopard's preferred prey, is a promising sign, too, as they are likely to attract leopards. At the end of the day you return to your homestay. Breakfast, lunch, dinner

Day 6: Ule To Leh

This morning you have another chance to explore the area around Ule and continue the search for snow leopards and other wildlife. You return to Ule for lunch and are then driven back to Leh, a journey of about 5 hours, and your town centre hotel. Breakfast, lunch, dinner

Day 7: Trek To Rumbak

Following breakfast you set out for Hemis National Park, for the next phase of the holiday, a multi-day trek. The park is famous for its snow leopard population: there are estimated to be some 200 leopards here, and while they are your main goal, there are plenty of other animals to look out for including ibex, lynx, Eurasian brown bear, red fox, chuka partridge and Tibetan wolf. It also has a wide range of bird species. Your guide leads the first stage of the trek, as you accustom yourself to these surroundings and watch for signs at the base of rocks where leopards mark their territory. Tonight you stay at a homestay at Rumbak. Breakfast, lunch, dinner

Days 8-10: Exploring Rumbak

These days are spent trekking in Hemis in search of the beautiful snow leopard. They are solitary creatures and effective predators, primarily hunting mountain sheep and goats, though they have been known to target domestic animals, too. Their mottled coats provide good camouflage and help them follow prey undetected, using rocks and ravines as cover. Spotters are in touch with the guide and help direct your treks to optimise the chances of sightings. Look up at high ridges, often used by leopards to survey their surroundings, and with luck you may catch a glimpse of this graceful, powerful and endangered creature. At the end of each day you return to the camp for hot food and tea. Breakfast, lunch, dinner    

Day 11: Rumbak To Urutse

Today's trek takes you to Urutse at the foot of Gandala Pass, where ibex and Himalayan lynx are often seen. You head down the valley, all the while keeping watch for the silhouette of a snow leopard in the mountains above, stopping on the way to enjoy a packed lunch, and arriving in Urutse by the afternoon. After a short rest you are driven back to Rumbak. Breakfast, lunch, dinner

Day 12: Urutse To Zinche And Leh

This is your final day in Hemis National Park, following a route through the valley past known snow leopard haunts, so keep up a close vigil for a last sighting. You walk past carved Tibetan prayer stones as you continue on to Zingchen. This trek takes about 5 hours, and you are met at Zingchen and driven back to Leh for a late lunch. Take it easy this afternoon, enjoy a hot shower and change of clothes, and a refreshing drink before sitting down to a farewell dinner with the group. Overnight at the hotel in Leh. Breakfast, lunch, dinner

Day 13: Fly To Delhi

Leave the hotel after an early breakfast, for the morning flight to Delhi, arriving in the capital at around 10:00. You are transferred to the Lemon Tree Premier Hotel, where the day is yours to spend as you while. A massage at the spa may be just the thing after several days trekking in the mountains, or you might prefer a swim in the pool, and the hotel cafe, bar and restaurant offer plenty of refreshments. Breakfast

Day 14: Depart Delhi

It's time to pack your bags. A representative will collect you from the hotel today for the short drive to the international airport to check in for your flight home. Breakfast

Availability

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Price From $ 4,870
Price Per Day: $ 348 per day
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10 Tribes Travel Reviews & Ratings

100%
5.0 out of 5 (100+ reviews)
Excellent 10
Great 0
Average 0
Disappointing 0
Terrible 0
Value
5.0
Guide
5.0
Activities
5.0
Lodging
5.0
Transportation
5.0
Meals
5.0

In search of Snow Leopards

Write a Review

Every aspect of this trip was brilliant. Seeing snow leopards in the wild has been a long-held ambition of my wife and me and this trip delivered big time, with no less than four separate sightings. Expectations were low given the difficulties involved an

5.0
Details
Value5.0
Guide5.0
Activities5.0
Lodging5.0
Transportation5.0
Meals5.0
Everything was awesome but if we had to single anything out it would be our homestay in Rumbak - a delightful family in a great community and with accommodation that was a privilege to be able to share with them. We heard that the Indian govt is considering a ban on continued residence in the National Park and we think that would be a real shame, and counter-productive from a conservancy point of view.
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Company Reviews

A memorable, inspiring trip, with great wildlife!

5.0
Details
Value5.0
Guide5.0
Activities5.0
Lodging5.0
Transportation5.0
Meals5.0
An excellent choice of hotels/lodges (thanks Alex) for a first visit to CR – many different habitats and associated varied wildlife, especially birds. Favourite accommodations were Rancho Naturalista and Macaw Lodge, as their smaller set-ups allowed for greater attention to detail and care by the staff. The food at these two was excellent too. Another time, I would definitely stay at these two again...
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The staff at all the camps were good but the staff at Sango camp made the holiday I have never met such friendly and humble people.

5.0
Details
Value5.0
Guide5.0
Activities5.0
Lodging5.0
Transportation5.0
Meals5.0
I loved the kill we witnessed at Chobe when a pack of lions caught a impala and the staff singing and dancing at Sango they even got us to all join in what happy people they are
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Perfect for us and even surpassed our expectations

5.0
Details
Value5.0
Guide5.0
Activities5.0
Lodging5.0
Transportation5.0
Meals5.0
Sleeping under the stars in the Kalahari while the lions roared just outside the camp boundary; close encounters with lions, cheetah, leopard and meeting a brown hyena on the way to bed (all under the safe company of our guide).
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Details

Flights & Transport

Internal airfare and ground transport

Group Size:

Intimate Group - 12 max

Trip ID#:

SeaSnoTri

Trip Excludes

  • Internatinal flights and taxes
  • Travel insurance
  • Visas
  • Meals not listed as included
  • Drinks
  • Laundry
  • Personal expenditure
  • Camera fees
  • Tips
  • Optional activities

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